NEWMEDTEK’s NeedleShark Makes Sharps Disposal Simple; Lowers Injury Risk and Costs
REDDING, CA (January 15, 2016) - With NEWMEDTEK’s announcement today that its disruptive NeedleShark sharps shredder is available for sale, customers have a new choice in infectious waste management, a sector that has changed relatively little over the last 30 years.
During this time, red sharps containers have been a common sight in places like doctor’s offices, hospitals, and outpatient laboratories. Yet, these ubiquitous plastic boxes come with a very real danger: the possibility of cuts, scrapes and punctures from used, contaminated needles. The NeedleShark offers healthcare providers as well as law enforcement, corrections, government and home users a safer way to dispose of used sharps: by shredding them into harmless particles, right where they are used.
Small enough to fit comfortably in an exam room, the NeedleShark minimizes the risk of injury to users through hands-free operation, thanks to an integrated motion sensor. Once the sharp has been placed in the device, a protective door closes and the sharp is automatically drawn into the shredding blades. An integrated HEPA filter prevents aerosols and pathogens from becoming airborne during the shredding process. The volume of the used sharps is reduced by a ratio of 5:1, decreasing the hassle, expense and environmental impact of disposal. "I don't think I've ever been this excited about a product," said Joseph Hornbeck, Founder of NEWMEDTEK. "Historically, the medical profession has accepted needle stick injuries and high costs for sharps disposal as unavoidable facts of life. The NeedleShark is turning this belief upside down by showing that you actually can lower your risk and your costs at the same time."
Despite increased regulations and improved safety guidelines over the last several years, needle stick injuries continue to be a major problem. According to the Center for Disease Control's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, approximately 800,000 occupational needle stick injuries occurred in the United States in 2004, and a surprising 41% of those injuries occurred after the sharp had been used or while it was being disposed of in a sharps container. Front-line healthcare workers like nurses are most vulnerable, but a wide range of others such as police officers and corrections workers may need to handle contaminated sharps as part of their work duties as well.
A tiny needlestick injury can have big consequences, because it can transmit serious diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. While it’s hard to put an exact number on the cost of a needlestick injury, researchers agree that initial testing and prophylaxis alone can cost more than $3,500 per incident - and that's not including long-term treatment after diagnosis, counseling for psychological trauma, worker's compensation, lost productivity, administrative overhead and ensuing litigation. In total, a single needlestick injury can lead to aggregate costs in excess of one million dollars, making prevention the most economical choice.